January like it should be

Finally January is starting to look like the heart of winter which it should be. A bit of snow, sunshine, footprints of a rabbit on fresh snow, shoveling, sledging, light and white. More of these, please.

Inside the house the orange hues of fireplace, sweet potatoes, tulips and finally finished woolen socks. The balance of winter time has returned.


Getting ready for work

There's something a knitting lady needs while commuting, something every finnish kid sew at the school in the 80's: a simple pouch for keeping one's handicraft. This fifteen-minutes-project was on my list on Tuesday and I'm happy with the results. Now I get to keep a few of my favorite fabrics with me while taking the bus for work and hopefully knitting. However, you might as well find me just staring half-a-sleep through the bus window and dreaming of things like knitting or sewing.

Maybe a healthy diet will take me through early mornings. Last weekend after being inspired by Nigella Lawson's show, I made my first attempt of making my own granola. The original recipe is here in English and here in Finnish. I didn't have all the ingredients waiting in the cupboard, so I improvised a bit putting almonds and other nuts instead of peanuts, using normal brown sugar and dark syrup instead of fancier muscovado sugar and rice syrup. I guess the results were OK also after my own twist to the recipe, because my husband has been faithfully eating the granola whole week through with yogurt. This was certainly easier than I thought and by making your own granola you know exactly what's hiding in it. So give this recipe or some other a go!


Without proper daylight, I didn't even try
making a photo of my girl wearing this.

I nearly finished the tunic for Elsi. If you look at closely at the picture above, you might notice the hem is still unfinished. I find sewing the hem so boring. Well, the tunic is not wearable, if I leave it unfinished. As you can guess, I'm not a big perfectionist. No true perfectionist would show an unfinished garment to other bloggers. This was a quick and fairly easy pattern to sew. The hardest part was combining the folds and trimming. Actually, I would like to find a pattern for making myself a matching tunic with the same fabric, but leaving the gingham trimming out.

The hanger from Käsityöpuoti Lumo

The absence of snow and sun makes the appearance of primroses on stores truly notable. Normally I've been buying yellow or pink primroses, but without a trace of snow the white ones really caught my eye. I needed to have my own pile of snow with the sun shining above.


Things I will miss

A major change in my life is only a couple foot steps away. At the beginning of February I'm going back to work and my babies are going to day-care. I've had four most pleasant years staying at home. Now sooner than I thought and had originally planned, I'm going back to work to teaching the kids of others while other's are taking care of my kids. I'm horrified! Well, I'll see this through and if this doesn't work for us, I'll stay one more year at home after the summer vacation. For my first-born this might work nicely, because she is in constant need of activities and friends, but my younger one, still seems so small for day-care, at least in my eyes.

Here are some of the things, I know, I'll miss the most:
Peaceful mornings, sleeping till nine o'clock.
Deciding freely what to do and when to do it.
Having other mums for a coffee the whole day long.
Holding the still sleepy baby after her nap.
Taking a nap with my girls.
Hearing every new found word first.
Reading the day-time story.
Having time for creativity.
Excessive blogging.
Watching my kids play.

Ok, I know, it's not end of the world to go back to work. And there are plenty of babies aged six months or under around the world in day-care, but for me this is going to be a huge adjustment. An adjustment I'm feeling a bit uneasy with. There'll be definitely less blogging and less crafting, but I won't give up reading the stories of your other lovely bloggers!


It took just a glance at the latest copy of Ottobre to get me back to sewing and, well, buying a copy for myself. The whole magazine is filled with very doable patterns. My soon four-year-old is in the mids of fast growing period and all her clothes are getting small at the same time, so there's a real need for some sewing.

Today I used the few light hours during the day nap of the younger one for tracing a pattern for a tunic and a pair of trousers. Tracing the pattern, cutting it and doing the same thing then with the fabric is the part of sewing, I would like to skip. But there's really no short-cuts in those phases. Needles to say, I love choosing the fabric and deciding what to sew. Also the actual sewing is quite nice, if things run smoothly.

The two fabrics above, I chose for the tunic. The pink gingham I'll use for the trimmings. I very much like these fabrics and I hope the end product will do them justice. I'll show you the results, if I dare, when I have it put together.

The trousers underneath are from a fabric I found last fall in a charity shop. Stylewise the tunic and these trousers are from totally different worlds, but they quite nicely picture the conflict I'm having with things I like. On the other hand soft and country romantic and on the other the things with a retro feel. In decorating our home this is quite a challenge, but luckilly dressing myself or the girls up, it's easy to choose one style to go at a time. Because lately my own sewing machine has been giving me hard time, I went with these trousers over to my mum's and borrowed her overlock machine. These types of fabrics are so much nicer to be sewn with an overlock machine. My Pfaff will have to change her manners or I will trade her for an overlock machine.


Domestic achievements

Yes, It's a toy car, totally unintentional on my side

Today, we baked for the first time this year. The recipe for these cardamom muffins or cupcakes is to be found in the latest copy of ME-lehti, unfortunately not available in web. The recipe caught my eye, because it had some sour cream (smetana) in it. There was just the right amount of it as left-overs from Christmas cooking and the eggs in the fridge were nearing their best before date. Best way to clean the fridge without needing to toss food in compost is to bake. It's quite rare, you have to put sweets in compost. Baking a salty pie works quite as well for rest pieces of cheese and veggies. The cupcakes were so yummy, I had to eat several of them, but hey, I did it purely for environmental reasons.

As many other bloggers in January, I'm trying to organize our domestic chaos a bit. Today as I was folding my fabric stash back in order...

behind my back my avid little helper was doing this

so as a result, I would conclude that the amount of chaos in our house remains stable no matter what I do.


Thrifting for spring

This weekend we visited the parents of my husband. I used the time provided by eager baby-sitters visiting the charity shop and flea market and knitting. You can see the spring time lurking into the colour scheme. Red turns into orange and yellow and my all time favourite green makes its' presence more visible. Even though my mind is occupied with the shades of green and what seeds to sow this spring ( triggered by the seed catalogs mail brought this week), I'm eagerly waiting for snow. We haven't had a change to build anything from it yet and we are hopelessly short on sledging this winter.


Just a brief look back

Oops, during the holidays I almost got out of the habit of blogging. Well, it's good to know, I'm not hopelessly addicted. Dear reader, I hope there are still one or two of you left, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas season and got all the rest and family time, you were in need of. I got a nice share of them myself. I had some very pleasing days reading books, sleeping long and just being with my family.

The photos above show the pair of felted baby booties, which I knitted for the lovely baby girl my sister got just a few days before Christmas. I also managed to finish the lace scarf for my mum on time. Giving some self made presents was so nice, I would like to do it this year as well, but I'm afraid, I won't have the time for present making, I had this time.

This set of coasters I sew as a house warming present for our friends in Lohja. I used different fabrics on both sides of the coaster and used two different patterns for quilting. The flowery thing keeping the ric rac together is a vintage earring. Thanks Miia, we had such a nice time visiting you! You and your family are so hospitable, it's always a pleasure to stay at our place.